Now European Managing Director at RFKeeper, we catch up with Gary and learn about his extensive career in security, and the experiences that have led him to where he is today…
A solid foundation
Gary started his career in the Bedfordshire Police Force where his objective from the outset was to gain as much experience and as many skills as possible.
“I worked through various roles including dog handler, firearms, and plain clothes detective. As a CID Sergeant I worked on serious organised crime, burglaries and assaults and whilst completing duties as an Inspector I was responsible for delivering national strategies for safer securities, including the night-time economy.
I love education, training and finding ways to better yourself; mentally and physically. What I learned from my time working in these different roles was that skills and lessons could be found in anything you do”
Having spent 12 years working and living on the front line of the law, Gary felt it was time for a new challenge, something that he could transfer the strong skill set he had acquired.
“There was a high demand among a range of sectors for individuals with experience in the police service, especially for those who can demonstrate transferable skills and credentials”
Many of the qualities that set Gary apart from his peers were gained directly from the police force including; his organisation, front line dynamics, decision making, process drive, methodical approach and investigation skills.
Following the release of a speculative CV, Gary’s attention was drawn to Wilkinson’s where he accepted the role of Regional Loss Prevention Manager. His responsibility was primarily to combat shrinkage, to deliver policies and procedures, and to complete investigations to reduce shrink. In this position Gary oversaw a team of area managers and 100 security guards in the south of England.
Whilst enjoying this change in direction, it wasn’t long before Gary’s desire for continual self-improvement came to the forefront. Gary wanted to further his security career in retail, yet without formal qualifications in risk management he knew it would be harder to do so.
“If I wanted to be a ‘Head of’ or ‘Director’ I needed to set myself apart from the others with a master’s degree, so I enrolled to study for a Master of Science, Security and Risk Management at the University of Leicester”
Following a successful graduation; and after 4 years of studying and working full time, his long-time colleague and friend Colin Cullerton suggested that he ‘might’ want to apply for a senior role that had become available at Jack Wills which would see Gary utilise his qualifications and his life skills that he had worked so hard for.
As the Director of Asset Protection & Risk Management, Gary’s role was to take a risk-based approach anything relating to risk rather than just shrink; including loss prevention, brand protection, inventory control and health and safety. Gary’s strategic vision and pragmatic approach to risk management was key in driving improvements and efficiencies throughout the business.
“As an entrepreneurial business Jack Wills offered flexibility and autonomy, allowing me to build the right team around me, giving me the ability to be an innovative leader”
It was in this role that Gary pioneered the testing of new technologies in loss prevention. In partnership with Retail & Asset Solutions (RAS) and their RFID stock management solution, Gary led the project to drive down stocktake costs dramatically, whilst improving his stock file accuracy by over 35%. The success in delivering this programme was largely due to Gary’s tenacity and ability to establish a systematic course of but also by creating a strong partnership approach with stock management experts RAS.
“I can honestly say that the RFID file accuracy project was the most exciting project I have ever been involved with, over and above any projects I was involved within the police force”
Now at RFKeeper, Gary is adapting his approach to help other retailers to become leaner and more efficient and to ‘reap the benefits’ of an RFID deployment.
As the Managing Director for Europe, as well as seeing over all European operations, Gary will also so assist with the expansion of services into the America’s.
“I understand retail’s pain and that’s why I want to help retailers by providing bespoke products and services to improve their processes and profitability. I want to demonstrate the significant cost and resource savings that we experienced at Jack Wills and deliver a secure and scalable platform for omni channel operations.”
During these challenging times; with many people’s roles having been thrown up in the air and projects on hold indefinitely, how can RFKeeper help? Well they are continuing to support their retailers wherever possible, yet they are also heavily preparing to be ready for when the green light it set; so they can help get retail back on track and provide businesses with the confidence and ability to meet the demands of dealing with complex and spontaneous incidents should they ever arise again.
“The Coronavirus has changed the world forever, and retailers are going to need to be able to react quicker, streamline practices and step up from multi-channel to become truly omni channel, so we need to be able, ready and waiting to deliver that for them”
RFKeeper partner with RAS to bring RFID solutions to retail. RFKeeper is a leading platform for retailers that provides real-time control and visibility into the supply chain; all the way from source to point of sale, for both online and in-store operations. The IoT cloud-based platform is an easy-to-deploy solution, providing advanced capabilities that are must-haves in today’s competitive market to reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and increase sales.
As Inventory Management and Loss Prevention Specialists RAS provide technology solutions and highly trained, on-site personnel for major stocktaking and merchandising assignments as well as supply chain management services; helping retailers and wholesalers track and verify assets from source to store.
RAS can deliver all the components connected with an RFID deployment including; software, hardware, tags and human resource; all of which can be deployed individually or as part of an end-to-end solution, integrated and customised to meet an organisations unique needs, objectives and growth plans.